Working Paper No. 1099

Electricity Markets: Designing Auctions Where Suppliers Have Uncertain Costs

Published: December 18, 2015, revised April 2016Pages: 38Keywords: Cost Uncertainty; Asymmetric information; Uniform-price auction; Discriminatory pricing; Market transparency; Wholesale electricity market; Treasury auction; Bidding format; Bayesian Nash EquilibriaJEL-codes: C72; D43; D44; L13; L94

Electricity Markets: Designing Auctions Where Suppliers Have Uncertain Costs Pär Holmberg and Frank A. Wolak


We analyze how market design in.uences the bidding behavior in multi-unit procurement auctions where suppliers have uncertain costs and are uncertain about the availability of production units, as in wholesale electricity markets. We .nd that the competitiveness of market outcomes improves with increased market transparency. We identify circumstances where the auctioneer prefers uniform to discriminatory pricing, and vice versa. We also identify circumstances where it should be market e¢ ciency enhancing to restrict the number of steps in the bid-schedules.

Pär Holmberg

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An Agenda for Europe

Institutional Reform for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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The authors of this book, Niklas Elert, Magnus Henrekson and Mikael Stenkula, advise the economies of the European Union to become more entrepreneurial in promoting innovation and economic growth. The authors propose a reform strategy with respect to several aspects to achieve this goal.

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